Mass at St Philomena, Sunday

(For momsy, because you help me pray)

Today you go to mass

a twin grace, one promised

another a perk

for forgiving.

The absolution is

for the suffering

for the thousand sorrows

for the thousand penitences

that never end.

You savor the autumn

afternoon guarding

the church door

filled with missteps,

human and priestly.

The incense fills

you and the days

in your dream

become as heady

as spring awakening

even if the flowers

have yet to christen

the red rites

of resurrecting remembering,

making the act a covenant

for believing.

The altar birds

in this late fall

do not sing,

the tabernacle plants

die a little,

the buds wither

in the wet weather,

you are late

for the early laughter.

Aurelio S. Agcaoili

Torrance, CA


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